The horror film M3GAN emerged as one of the unexpected highlights in the genre in 2022, prompting Blumhouse to promptly confirm a sequel. The sequel, as teased by James Wan, will see the return of the menacing doll, further exploring the perils associated with AI. Directed by Gerard Johnstone, the movie follows the tale of a doll with artificial intelligence and its creator, who entrusts the doll with the care of a young girl. Unaware of the horrifying and violent ramifications that will arise from this decision, the creator’s delegation of responsibility to her own creation leads to a series of dreadful outcomes.
🚨 The sequel to the AI doll horror movie "M3GAN Megan", "M3GAN 2.0", will be released in the United States on January 17, 2025. According to producer James Wan, the sequel will further explore concerns about AI. pic.twitter.com/P7KMVH5srt
— 𝗛𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗼𝗿 𝗨𝗻𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗱 (@HorrorUnIeashed) November 4, 2023
Blumhouse and Wan, both producers of M3GAN, have gained recognition for introducing fresh narratives into the horror genre. With each new title, they’ve innovated and established contemporary storylines that rival the fear evoked by other horror classics, forming new franchises. Consequently, M3GAN 2.0 is anticipated to elevate the horror experience to an entirely different level. In an interview with Empire Magazine, Wan discussed the sequel, hinting at an extraordinary comeback for the doll:
“It’s early yet, but M3GAN is coming back in a big way. The first film came just at the right time [when concerns about AI were mounting], and we’re definitely leaning into that on the next one. We’re exploring the AI universe even further.”
The Use of AI Is Now a Big Issue for the Movie Industry
M3GAN is among the films addressing the perils of advancing technologies like artificial intelligence. While it’s not the initial one to explore this concern, its debut aligned not just with a pivotal moment in the application of such tools in daily life, but also within the entertainment sector of film and television.
Over the past few years, AI has assumed a significant role in social media, notably in crafting lifelike images and videos. This poses a considerable risk as these can be effortlessly mistaken for genuine, authentic content. However, the conversation around artificial intelligence has pivoted in light of the ongoing Hollywood crisis resulting from the strikes.
Industry writers and actors alike are deeply worried about how studios might utilize this technology to potentially cut positions, be it in writing scripts or replicating actors’ appearances to minimize work hours and expenses. While the writers have successfully secured a deal with AMPTP to oversee AI’s use, SAG-AFTRA is currently in negotiations for a new agreement. AI remains a crucial issue under discussion between the union and the studios.
Several actors, including Tom Hanks, the late Robin Williams, and Scarlett Johansson, have fallen prey to the illicit manipulation of their likenesses through the use of artificial intelligence in recent months. Disney faced scrutiny for integrating AI-generated background actors in a recent film and for crafting the opening sequence for Secret Invasion, revealing several other AI-related aspects.
However, AI remains a permanent presence, and it’s likely that James Wan and the M3GAN 2.0 team will once again tap into the current spirit of the times.